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NATS 1760 Science, Technology and Society (Durant)

Just for fun

FREE Citation Management Software

  • RefWorks site (Login) can help you manage your footnotes & bibliography on the web. Easy to use, interfaces directly with MS Word to create footnotes & bibliographies
  • Key points:
    • Don’t forget to install Write-n-Cite on your PC.  It’s in the Tools menu
    • Also don’t forget to move items out of the “Last Imported” folder into the folder you create for your course
    • Lastly, don’t forget to  use “Edit citation” in the Write-n-cite application to get page numbers!

Logging in from Home

  • Need to use Passport York or bar code number & PIN from library card to authenticate as a York user
  • Information here on logging in
  • Remember: Use the library web page or this blog post for the link as it will prompt for login

Background Information

Scholarly Communications

Scientific publication cycle

  • Science is a journal culture
  • journals are usually the only type of communications that is peer reviewed
  • Peer review: research is verified by other scholars before it is published
  • broad disciplinary groupings
    • earth science
    • space science
    • life science
    • medicine
    • physical science
    • computer science
    • mathematics & statistics
    • applied science / engineering
  • different disciplines can have different ways of doing things
    • ie. computer science is conference-based
    • patents & standards are very important for engineering
    • science is also becoming increasingly computationally oriented

Types of documents

  • journal articles
  • conference proceedings
  • preprint/postprint/eprint
  • monographs
  • books
  • patents
  • standards
  • technical reports
  • property data
  • data collections
  • computer code
  • now — wikis, blogs, twitter, social networks

Economics of scholarly publishing

  • cost of journals is very high
  • but journals are tied into rewards system in science
  • openness is becoming increasingly valued
  • but still hard to change
  • open access — various business models for science
  • open data, open notebook, open source

Finding Books

My topics: alternative energy sources — biofuels: are they worth it

  • pick a topic that interests you
  • narrow your topic
  • get a angle/perspective
  • have a plan B (science & religion: teaching creationism in schools)

Do a search in The York Catalogue:

  • by title: The citizen-powered energy handbook : community solutions to a global crisis
  • by author: pahl greg
  • by journal title: Scientific American
  • by subject: Renewable energy sources
  • by subject: biomass energy
  • by keyword:
    • biofuel*
    • biodiesel
    • biofuel and economics
    • biofuel and (efficiency or viability)
    • biofuel and efficiency and carbon footprint
    • science and religion
    • science and creationism and education
    • creationism and evolution and high school
    • scopes trial
  • Google Books Search — lets you search inside books for obscure topics
    • RACER to get books we don’t have.  It usually only takes a couple of days to get the book if another ON university has it.
  • Books 24×7 is a very comprehensive ebooks package, good for technology topics
  • Scholars Portal eBooks:  great big pile of ebooks, good general resource

Finding Articles

All the article databases are similar. Try searches like these.

  • ethanol
  • ethanol and production
  • biofuels and efficiency
  • biofuels and cost
  • biodiesel and food and cost
  • (biodiesel or biofuel*) and cost and corn
  • ethanol and cost and corn

A list of the best databases for general science topics

  • Scholar’s Portal Journals:  full text, good general source of articles
  • Scientific American: good for commentary from scientists about controversial topics — but make sure it’s by scientists!
  • Scopus — good complement to Scholars Portal — not completely full text but covers a broader range
  • IEEE Xplore — full text engineering database
  • JSTOR — good full text, better for finding sociological, historical or philosophical takes on scientific topics
    • Remember: don’t use basic search, advanced only!

Using the Internet Wisely

  • ScienceBlogs — blog aggregation site for science
  • Using Google as a scholarly research tool:
    • Find a good portal site
    • remember: who, why and when
  • Wikipedia — solid source of links & basic info, not academic or 100% reliable Wikipedia as a starting point. Remember that for a controversial topic there can be a lot of back and forth and “conflict of interest” changes

Office: Steacie 102H
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